Well, mostly. Pavle really is my nom de religion, though I don't use the Serbian spelling or pronunciation in every day use. I chose Paul for a number of reasons, but one of the main ones was its ability to cross linguistic lines easily and recognizably. When I go to church the Koreans do, in fact, call me 바 울 로. (Just as the very few Greeks call me Παυλος /Παβλος and the not-quite-so-few Russians say Павел.)
Jurodivyj is a whole different matter. One of several possible transliterations of Юродивый, it means "holy fool." Holy fools are a bit of a hot topic in academia these days - their unconventional, marginal behavior make for great anecdotes and postmodernist pontifications.
Although the first such fools were recognized in Greece, the Holy Fool has been perfected and most cherished in Russia. There, they confronted Ivan the Terrible, wandered around naked in the snow, and inspired a multitude of Russian artists. Dostoyevsky's The Idiot and Gogol's Dead Souls are but the most well known. They also influenced music (Shostakovich) and the visual arts.
Most glorified fools are given the title "Blessed" or "Blessed One" rather than the usual "Saint". Sometimes their name is simply stated, then followed with "Fool-for-Christ". Often, the gift of prophecy is associated with them. Although there are dozens of Holy Fools, here are some of the most famous:
was a Slav and lived in the tenth century at Constantinople...during a dream, the saint beheld a vision of two armies. In the one were men in radiant garb, in the other, black and fiercesome devils. An angel of God, who held wondrous crowns, said to Andrew, that these crowns were not adornments from the earthly world, but rather a celestial treasure, with which the Lord rewards His warriors, victorious over the dark hordes. "Proceed with this good deed," the angel said to Andrew. "Be a fool for My sake and you will receive much in the day of My Kingdom."
was a Syrian, and lived in the sixth century with his aged mother. After several years of monasticism, he went to the city where he passed himself off as a simpleton, doing strange acts, for which he was subjected to insults, abuse and beatings: Arriving at the city gate, he found a dead dog on a dungheap, tied its leg to the rope around his waist, and entered the city dragging the comatose canine behind him. During the church services, he threw nuts at the clergy and blew out the candles. In the circus, he wrapped his arms around the dancing-girls and went skipping and dancing across the arena. In the streets, he tripped people up, developed a theatrical limp, and dragged himself around on his butt. In the bath-house, he ran naked into the crowded women's section.
Basil the Blessed, Wonderworker of Moscow:
was born in December 1468 on the portico of the Elokhov church in honor of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, outside Moscow. His parents were common folk and sent their son for training in the cobbler's craft. For the salvation of his neighbors, Blessed Basil also visited the taverns, where he tried to see a grain of goodness, even in people very much gone to ruin, and to strengthen and encourage them by kindness. Many observed that when the saint passed by a house in which they made merry and drank, he with tears clutched the corners of that house. They inquired of the fool what this meant, and he answered: "Angels stand in sorrow at the house and are distressed by the sins of the people, but I with tears entreat them to pray to the Lord for the conversion of sinners."
Blessed Michael of Klops:
was of noble lineage, but left Moscow dressed in rags and went to Klops monastery, near Novgorod. No one knew how he got into the locked cell of the hieromonk Makarios, who was going round the cell censing during the Ninth Ode of the Canon. A man in monastic garb sat there beneath a candle, copying out the Acts of the Holy Apostles. After the end of Matins the igumen came with some of the brethren and asked the stranger who he was, and what his name was. But he responded only by repeating the questions, and did not reveal his origin.
Xenia liked a certain girl very much because of her meek, quiet character and her kind heart. Once Xenia came to visit them and the girl began to make coffee. Turning to the girl, Xenia said: "Here you are making coffee and your husband is burying his wife in Okhta. Run there quickly!" The girl was shocked. "My what?! I don’t have a husband... and burying his wife!" Once there they saw that a funeral procession was headed for the cemetery and they joined in with the crowd of mourners. A young woman, the wife of a doctor, had died in childbirth and was being buried. They chanced upon the sobbing young widower who, at the sight of the grave mound over the remains of his beloved wife, lost consciousness and fell to the ground near them. The daughter strove to bring him back to consciousness and to comfort him. They became acquainted and, eventually, the young woman became the wife of the doctor.